Jerry Garcia & Howard Wales – Space Funk


In the lead up to recording their 1970 release Hooteroll?, Garcia and Wales had a standing gig playing Monday nights at The Matrix in San Francisco. This track is a live recording of one of those sessions released on Grateful Dead Records in 1998 under the title Live Side Trips Vol. 1 featuring Bill Vitt on drums and long-time Garcia collaborator John Kahn on bass. Around that same time, Wales would sit in on organ for the Dead’s sessions for American Beauty. Kahn, Vitt, and Garcia would also joined with Merl Saunders on organ for a number of releases, including this cover of “I Second That Emotion”. An active studio musician, Wales appeared on the soundtrack to Alexandro Jodorowsky’s surreal masterpiece El Topo in addition to live performances with Jimi Hendrix and James Brown. Wales released one album of his own, 1976’s Rendezvous With the Sun. You can find a complete list of his credits on his website. You can also find this amazing picture of him flying an airplane organ:


I’ve focused more on Wales because he’s less known than Garcia and with Jerry I wouldn’t even know where to start. I can say that I’ve really been digging his playing on China Cat Sunflower>I Know You Rider on 12-6-73 in Cleveland lately, but honestly I’ve yet to hear a version of that I haven’t liked.

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